The South African Senior Women’s National Team (Banyana Banyana) has safely arrived in South America for their training camp. Banyana Banyana can expect to wear their rain jackets for the next day or two after a Brazilian thunderstorm greeted the players at their base camp in Teresopolis, 100km outside Rio de Janeiro on Sunday, 12 February 2012.
After their 24-hour air transit, followed by a 90-minute bus ride from Rio de Janeiro to Teresopolis, the Sasol-sponsored national senior women's team was in high spirits as they embarked on the 12-day stay in South America which will include four matches against top Brazilian women's football club teams.
"Last year, as a part of Banyana Banyana's qualification campaign for the 2012 London Olympics, we only played against African teams, so we are grateful to Sasol and SAFA for affording us the opportunity of playing against South American teams before we travel to take part in the Cyprus Women's Cup later this month," said Banyana Banyana head coach Joseph Mkhonza.
"In Cyprus, Banyana Banyana is drawn in a group that includes South Korea, New Zealand and Northern Ireland, once again allowing us the opportunity to play against teams from various continents, who have different styles of play which will help us when we play at the Olympics."
The 21-strong Banyana Banyana team will soon be joined in Brazil by Roxanne Barker, the former Durban Ladies Sasol League KwaZulu Natal goalkeeper, who plays her football for Peperdine University in the USA.
"I need to pick three goalkeepers for the Banyana Banyana team that will play at the Olympics in London in July this year, so I am monitoring that department, like all the others, to ensure that we send the best players to represent South Africa at the Olympics," added Mkhonza.